If you are keeping up with marketing trends, then you know that 2012 is all about content, curation and community – that is, inviting your consumers to co-create your brand identity and values through interactivity. How is all this excitement happening? Through social technology.
The trends for cause marketing are the same, except by adding purpose to your marketing, you create an authentic and meaningful reason to interact with your consumers. That’s gold in the age of ‘new consumers’ who care about the social/eco footprint of the brands they identify with.
So how can your brand create a relevant, transparent and meaningful experience that delights your consumers and drives brand interaction? Start with what your consumers care about – make it about them, solve a need, fulfill a want, speak to an issue they care about. Then layer in your brand values and personality to add that stickiness and incite loyalty.
A perfect example of a brand curating a consumer experience that puts people’s needs and social connections front and center is P&G’s Charmin toilet paper brand and its ‘Sit or Squat’ smartphone app. Charmin crowdsources recommendations from brand enthusiasts for public restrooms around the world. Charmin recognized a universal need, and decided to improve upon the awkward, but necessary process of finding a clean bathroom on the go.
While competitor Georgia-Pacific’s Quilted Northern brand is telling consumers “It’s time to get real about what happens in the bathroom,” Charmin is actually helping consumers get real information that makes their day a little easier. Let’s face it, we don’t really want to ‘get real’ with our toilet paper brand, but we do want it to perform as promised. When that brand solves an unspoken need and brings us into a shared experience beyond the brand promise, then we’re seeing content, curation and community in action. And that’s something to ‘get real’ about.
Here’s why the ‘Sit or Squat’ initiative works:
Encourages consumer-driven recommendations (wisdom of the crown)
Leverages social channels to reinforce the conversation
Provides local, relevant info when you need it most
Is optimized for a mobile experience (maps, easy interface)
Solves a need that makes sense in the brand context
Provides a value-add beyond the physical product attributes
Allows the consumer to take the brand beyond the home